1 man shot inside American Dream Mall in NJ; Police searching for at least 1 suspect

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (WABC) -- An active police investigation is underway after one man was shot inside the American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

New Jersey State Police say the shooting happened inside the popular mall in the Meadowlands just before 6 p.m. on Thursday.

They say when troopers arrived, they found one man shot. The victim, who suffered serious injuries, was taken to a nearby hospital in stable condition. It's not clear if the victim was an intended target.

Police believe there was one shooter and that they are no longer at the mall. They are also looking for two people who may have been with the shooter.

Based on a preliminary investigation, detectives believe the shooting to be an isolated incident.

Eyewitness Desirae Somers described the terrifying moments when she heard gunshots ring out.
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Eyewitness Desirae Somers describes the terrifying moments gunshots rang out at the American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

"We were shopping in American Eagle when we loudly heard 'boom, boom,' then we see people running and screaming and they were yelling 'gunshots go,' and then we found the nearest fire exit and we found our way out of the mall," Somers said.

New Jersey State Police determined that the incident was not an active shooter, but the panic spread through the mall as people took shelter anywhere they could.

In a crowded stockroom, Montsir Mohammad waited with his daughter as overhead announcements blared and strobe lights flashed.

"Came up with an idea. I found these ropes, I tied the doors from one end to the other so they can't open outwards," Mohammad said.

Then, after what seemed like hours, came the police.

State police armed with long guns patted down shoppers and then escorted them to safety, after a day of shopping turned downright terrifying.

Police are advising people to avoid the area and are asking anyone looking to reunite with any family members, to go to Lot 26.

Governor Phil Murphy says he was briefed on the shooting and set up a command post.

"We are closely monitoring the situation, and are praying for those impacted," Murphy said in a tweet.

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Candace McCowan reports on the tragic shooting, which investigators say started as a fight between two groups.

Police say the mall plans to reopen Friday for regular operating hours.

This is breaking news. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
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